Category Archives: Slice of Life

Rain & Happiness

Rain is steadily falling creating a peaceful ambiance.
Cocooned in a blanket of warmth and happiness.
Soft sighs and strong arms make this moment even better.
Chocolate orbs stare up at icy blue ones.
A small smile graces both of their faces before they meet for another kiss.
More stories are told and more moments are made.
Each one is being their genuine self around the other.
True smiles are given and those rare & true laughs are heard.
The walls are down and they tell each other the reasons behind their personality.
More stolen kisses and the occasional wink.
Icy blue eyes sparkling with mischief stare into warm chocolate ones.
Time seems to slow down with each story and with each hug.
And yet it is the enemy too because before they know it one of them must leave.
But for now they settle back into one another’s warmth to delay the inevitable for another moment.

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My Little Hideaway

Cross a bridge and take a right. Merge onto the northbound lane and then barely start north and make another left. Take a right and let the twists and turns begin. As you near the top of the hill you look to your left and you see fog settling into the valleys. Keep going out that road and then take a sharp right. You’re met with more twists and turns, foggy valleys, and the occasional wild turkey. Barely coming around a turn you have to cut right again and now you’re heading down a narrower road. Two miles later you come around one final turn to see a parking lot. Looking to the right a bit there’s a hill with a picnic table.  On a clearer day this would be the perfect picnic spot. Or even a spectacular view of a sunrise one morning. However today your view is full of mist, fog and raindrops. Yet there’s a peacefulness to it. Shutting off the car and closing your eyes you listen to the rain falling and pinging off the roof of the car. You relax a little more and your mind begins to drift. All of the stresses of the week and day slowly slip away like the raindrops on the windshield. Almost an hour later you make your way back down that same windy road feeling 1000x better.

Disunity and Unity

I’m so happy to have the next three days off. Even though I’ll be going into work on Saturday for a little bit I’m planning on enjoying my mini-break. Tonight we had our Maundy Thursday service & I, being an Elder, volunteered to be a reader. I read the 4th reading:  the Fourth Light-The Darkness of Disunity. I was the only one whose reading was a call and response. As I was reading it aloud I couldn’t help but think of how this month started for me and thousands of other teachers.

“Do your best to preserve the unity which the spirit gives, by peace that binds you together. There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. There is one God and Savior of all, who is the Lord of all, works through all and is in all.”

“But the meaning of the words is lost in our disputes over our difference. We have spent many years pointing out how each group differs from the other. Let us now give equal time to our similarities.”

“We follow Christ that we might find you, God. He is the path you set for us to walk, but we cannot tread that path alone.”

“We need guidance from you and from each other.”

“We follow the same path, the same teacher, the same God. Help us to respect our differences and work toward the oneness that we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

As I read these words the images of the nine days came to mind. I relied heavily on prayer and my church family to help keep me calm. The politicians tried to divide us among each other and with the public. But they couldn’t and I truly believe it’s because of the prayers we all lifted up. Trust me, we were praying a lot for all of that mess to be resolved. I truly love that I was the one selected to read this selection.

Thin Ice

Another long day.

Four boys acting like kindergartners.

18 other students highly annoyed.

And one very irritated teacher.

Tomorrow had better be better.

I would write more but I have a headache & I’m just ready to go to bed and leave today behind.

 

Books are a Teacher’s Best Friend

I love Tuesdays. Why? At 9:14 I line my kids up to go to my favorite place in the entire school. This place has always been my favorite place-even when I was a student there.  Once you enter there the adventures begin. One day you’re dodging tornadoes with Dan Hatch and the next you’re riding alongside Sybil Ludington. Can you guess where we are?

The library. 

Our library is quite vast. Wall to wall with books. There’s three sections: picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction books. The picture books and chapter books section alone is the size of the two classrooms and the nonfiction section is a classroom and a half in itself. I’ve worked in several schools and none of them compare to NMS. The first time we went there this year I walked in just as excited as the students. As they began looking for books I walked around and found a few of my old favorites. One asked me what I was doing and I just told them I was visiting old friends. At this point they’re use to me walking around checking out the new books. I think we get new books added almost every week. My favorite part is when they come to me and ask if I have any suggestions. I have a pretty good idea of their interests and I’ve been successful this year of getting my students fired up about reading. But then again it helps and I think inspires them when they see me sitting there reading right along with them.

A Blur

Today was tiring. Last week when my team level met we discussed having the kids come to the room at 7:40. We would do extra reading and math practice during this time. But I didn’t think we were starting this today. Boy was I surprised when they came in at that time.

My morning flew by and before I knew it I was lining them up for gym. I pick them up from gym and that’s when I learned my day just became more interesting. J comes to me and says Z kept acting like he was going to hit him with the ball. Eventually he did right between the legs. I held my breath hoping J hadn’t decked him. Thankfully he didn’t but that meant I had to call one of the principals to add to their list of offenses. Toward the end of the day they were called to the principal’s office. When they came back J told me that both of them would be in ISS for the next three days. This is J’s fifth time in ISS this year. It’s a little disheartening and I know part of him tries so hard, but his anger often wins out.

Like I said-today was tiring.

Fireworks

Chocolate orbs stare into icy blue ones.
The heart rate begins to quicken.
The old, familiar, nervous habit kicks in and her bottom lip disappears.
An arm wraps itself around her torso and for a moment her breath hitches.
‘Could this be…’ she allows herself to think and perhaps hope.
She balances herself by wrapping her arms around his neck and she’s granted a smile.
A smile that could be likened to a kid on Christmas morning.
Her eyes search his to make sure that what she’s hoping is about to happen is.
But he keeps an excellent poker face and instead rewards her with a kiss to the cheek.
Smiling she returns the favor only to find fireworks.
Dazedly she pulls back and closes her eyes.
‘Please don’t let this be a dream…’
Opening one eye she sees he’s still there and he’s wrapped both arms around her.
Beaming she leans back in and more sparks fly

A Simple Surprise

An innocent comment can sometimes lead to surprises. Sometimes a negative surprise while other times you’re lucky and it’s a sweet little surprise.

I’m not sure how it came about but the other day I mentioned a particular movie in conversation. Today I received this beautiful little piece.

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That was my day. How was yours? 

Return of Nerd Mode

This week the focal point of our reading series has really knocked it out of the park with exposing my nerd side. Our third story this week focused on the three branches of government. My kids were taking notes and rather than have them just copy notes from the whiteboard I used the online Kids Discover articles. I’ve always loved these magazines since I was little.

Starting with the Executive Branch they learned a little more about government agencies and the Cabinet. They were a little interested by the various offices within the Cabinet. But the part that made me smile was this quote:

❝At times, senators have held long debates about whether the president has made good choices for these jobs.❞

My kids asked why I was smiling and I just told them about Betsy DeVos & how we as educators don’t have any faith in her at all. The Legislative Branch barely interested them. However when we began reading and discussing the Judicial Branch I came alive.

Law has always interested me. My favorite parts of the older seasons of Law and Order: SVU was the court part when it was Cabot or Novak as the ADA. When I was in high school I took a class titled Street Law. We watched a show titled You Be the Jury and completed mock trials and I LOVED it. We learned the ins and outs of law. It was because of this class I learned the Miranda Warning.

And that came in handy today when we were discussing this branch. I asked them if they had heard about this and none of them had. But as soon as I started, “You have the right to remain silent…” all of their hands shot up. Smiling I explained that in the event that someone is arrested and that they aren’t told this then their 5th and 6th amendment rights have been violated. Scrolling on down on the page sure enough there were significant court cases and one was Miranda v. Arizona. My kids just looked at me amazed. One asked me if there was anything in Social Studies I didn’t know. I assured them that I didn’t know EVERY little thing when it came to Social Studies. It’s just that this week we are talking about the facets of Social Studies that interest me.

My kids already knew I was a music and book nerd. But now they’ve finally learned that I’m a history nerd too.

Flannel Shirts & Camping

Tall and lanky.
Stubborn to the point that at times it was frustrating.
Very straight & to the point.

These are just a few of the characteristic Pap Barrick had. In my Slice on Sunday I focused on Pap G. But now it’s time to talk about Pap B. On that side of the family I was one of five grandkids.  But I was just one of two that was super close to Mam & Pap. For I just lived 2 blocks south of them. And for years that was wonderful. Most afternoons if I wasn’t next door you would find me up the street. While I did enjoy spending time talking about books and sewing quilts with Mam it was Pap I found myself talking about life and more serious things. I don’t know why but we just did.

He was the grandfather who every summer and even fall (up until I entered 1st grade) we would go camping with in Tennessee. It always makes me laugh when I think about how every year as we were leaving Bristol and headed into Pigeon Forge he would be on the CB Radio and just cussing up a storm about the traffic. I would get on our radio and inform him that I’m able to hear him and then break into a giggle fit. The next thing I knew Mam would be saying, “Johnny!” And then more cussing and he would shut it off. They would camp in the spot next to us every time and every morning I would get ready and head out our camper door, across the campfire area and right up to their door. We camped together for many years until Mam fell out of the motorhome in South Carolina when I was 7.

In the years following I always would visit and just like before I would talk to Mam about books & quilts. Pap and I would have the more serious talks and I honestly loved that. It made me feel all grown up. I remember when I was 13 we were sitting there and he looked at me and said, “You and I both had a big world changing event happen at age 13. Mine was Pearl Harbor. I remember it like it was yesterday.” When I went away to college our talks happened less frequently, but I still tried to find time to visit.

Mam unexpectedly passed away in January of 2012. It was only 8 months after losing Pap G and that hit me hard. But not as hard as Pap B. He stayed semi-healthy until 2016. Around June he started declining and I knew it was coming because I had seen it in Pap G. We lost him in the early hours of August 19, 2016.

In 2016 one big fashion trend came back: flannel. Both of Pap G and Pap B wore flannel, but I associated one particular color with both. Red was Pap G’s color. Hunter green was Pap B. If you were to look into my closet you will find six flannel shirts, but I have two that are quite dear to me. That Christmas I received a red flannel and a hunter green flannel. Every time I wear them it makes me miss both of them so much. And at the same time I feel like they are still with me.

Oh if only I could back…